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Innovation

iPhone users mourn AT&T's loss of NFL

Verizon signed a four-year exclusive contract with the NFL which effectively locks out iPad/iPhone customers, at least those on AT&T anyway.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

Verizon Wireless announced that it has signed a four-year exclusive contract with the National Football League.

The National Football League (NFL) has joined forces with Verizon Wireless, the owner and operator of the nation’s most reliable wireless network, to provide fans with the deepest NFL experience on select mobile phones, it was announced today.  The new four-year agreement for NFL Mobile kicks off next month with coverage of the 2010 NFL Draft to be held from April 22-24 and continues with the NFL’s regular season...

As part of the deal Verizon Wireless devices will be able to stream NFL RedZone, NFL Network, live Sunday Night and Thursday Night games, amongst other features.

Among the programming that will be available for the first time during the regular season will be the wildly popular NFL RedZone channel from the NFL Network, which airs live look-ins of every key play and touchdown from Sunday afternoon games.  Fans also will be able to watch live streaming of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.  In addition, fans will receive the NFL Network channel, which airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis, and is the only network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football.

This means that only Verizon mobile phones will carry the NFL. Period, end of story. It's bad news for iPad/iPhone users on AT&T (which is all of us, as of now) who will get no NFL -- at least in its official goodness, like live video for example -- for at least four years.

Let's be real though, I'm sure that VZW was the highest bidder and/or simply offered the best value proposition to the almighty NFL. Can you really blame the NFL for going with their best offer? I hope that AT&T is using the money that it saved by not paying the NFL to beef up its network -- which it appears to be doing with great success.

It's another shutout for AT&T, who can't seem to tie its digital shoes these days, and a coup for VZW. It's just another reason why I can't wait for the iPhone to come to Verizon. Please?

What about you? Do you care about streaming the NFL on your device? Or are you planted in front of the 50-inch plasma on Sunday?

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